City OKs North OC Community Lighting Upgrades

OCEAN CITY – Harbourside at Heron Harbour Isle will be seeing some aesthetically pleasing changes to its neighborhood after the City Council voted unanimously to approve their request for decorative lighting Monday.

Kevin Kirstein, member of the Board of Directors of Harbourside-I, came before the Mayor and Council Monday evening to request decorative street lighting in the community located on 120th Street bayside.

Kirstein explained to the council that at the annual Harbourside meeting, those present voted unanimously to request additional and decorative street lighting.

Kirstein told the council that in the early 1990’s, when the neighborhood was being developed, “there were no street lights, in fact there were no streets.”

Since that time the neighborhood has developed greatly, but is still lacking in street lighting. Kirstein explained that there are currently only three cobra head streetlights, which he described as “highway arm style fixtures.”

The Harbourside residents have wanted additional lighting for some time, but did not want additional cobra head lighting. Kirstein also explained that Harbourside-I did not want to make the request until it had approval from the entire neighborhood.

After approval at the annual meeting, Kirstein was nominated to appear before the council on behalf of the residents on North Heron Dr., South Heron Dr., White Heron Court, Blue Heron Court, North Heron Gull Court, and South Heron Gull Court. The different associations that make up Harbourside at Heron Harbour Isle agreed that they wanted aesthetically pleasing, residential-style lighting installed throughout the entire neighborhood.

“This area contains between 400 and 500 families,” Kirstein said. “It’s a very large residential area. The entire area, as far as public streets, only has three lights.”

Kirstein told the council the recent increase in crime in the area, including three breaking and entering incidents, increased the neighborhoods’ desire for new lighting.

“We’re very impressed with the lighting that the city’s been installing on Bayshore Dr. and Baltimore Ave., and we’re asking for something along those lines,” Kirstein said, emphasizing that they preferred the decorative lighting to the cobra head lighting.

City Engineer Terry McGean explained the technicalities of the request to the council.

According to McGean, a request for additional lighting does not need approval from the council, but because of the request for decorative lighting and the additional cost, he felt the approval of the council was necessary.

McGean explained that, in the case of underground utilities, if a light is installed within 10 feet of a transformer than there is no installation charge from Conectiv, only a flat monthly fee that includes electricity and the materials of the fixture itself.

According to McGean, the additional cost will be $1,695 per year more than the cost for the cobra head lighting.

“That’s just the additional cost over cobra head lighting,” McGean explained. “The total cost is still going to be in that $5,000 to $6,000 total.”

Simply stated, the decorative lighting will only cost roughly $1,700 more than the cobra head lighting.

Councilwoman Nancy Howard showed support for the request.

“I agree, I think it’s something that we could do for the neighborhood. It’s a lovely community and it would be nice to have light fixtures that would compliment that,” she said.

Howard did show concern however for the neighborhoods that currently have the cobra head lighting and not the decorative lighting.

McGean addressed the issue with two points. First he explained that the situation is unique because they are essentially dealing with a blank canvas. Second, he said that in the case of Bayshore Dr., the city did go in and replace the cobra head lighting with decorative lighting.

“Hats off to you for the job you did on Bayshore Drive,” Councilman Jim Hall, who lives on the road, said.

Hall also agreed that Harbourside at Heron Harbour Isle is a well-kept, lovely neighborhood that would benefit from the aesthetically pleasing, decorative lighting.

The council voted unanimously to approve the request for additional lighting from Harbourside at Heron Harbour Isle.